Canal Street is reputedly the widest main street in the US. It gets its width and name from a proposed, but never constructed, canal that was to extend from the turning basin of the Carondelet Canal and follow a path around the Vieux Carre on a right-of-way that now includes Canal and Basin Streets. It eventually became the physical and symbolic divider between the old Creole 1st Municipality (Vieux Carre) and the new American 2nd Municipality (Faubourg Ste. Marie), now the business district. The large median—even larger then—was called the neutral ground, a name that is now used for medians throughout the city. This area was a grassy promenade and later a right-of-way for street railways, with as many as five tracks at their peak. The street use went from residential to commercial in the middle nineteenth century.
The commercial usage has gone through many phases and continues to change. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, retail spaces including music houses, dominated the street. Then small “nickelodeon” theaters became popular. Soon larger theaters, department stores, and hotels began opening. Also included were some dance halls and radio station studios on upper floors. Some of these locations were the site of temporary or “field recording” studios for various record labels.
Many of these uses had one thing in common—music. It permeated Canal St. then, and is still around today as the street becomes a boulevard of restaurants and hotels.
In 1987 the United States Congress, through Concurrent Resolution 57, designated Jazz “a rare and valuable national American treasure to which we should devote our attention, support and resources to make certain it is preserved, understood and promulgated.” www.nps.gov/jazz/
G.W. Carrington’s saloon:
818 South Rampart
One of the worst local bars in the time of Buddy Bolden.5,p52
George Carrington opened the bar in 1906 and lasted about a year. 5,p53
Look at Congo Square.
One of the old dance halls in New Orleans, from around 1905.
Colored Waifs Home for Boys:
Rosedale and Conti Streets.
In about 1907, the Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Children gave Captain Joseph Jones the use of a building known as the Girod Asylum, situated at the junction of Rosedale and Conti Streets in which to establish the Colored Waifs Home. Later in 1920 the city took over its running changing the name to the Municipal Home for Boys. Fallen heroes
Louis Armstrong, as well as were in it.
Come Clean Hal:
Official name Circus Square, and later changed to Beauregard Square.
Historian Herbert Asbury was talking about the Sunday celebrations on a large open space at Rampart and Orleans Streets, part of which had been indicated on the maps as public square. Here the slaves danced the Calinda, the Bamboula etc.
Cooperators Hall (former Friends of Hope Hall):
Original the white creoles were French colonials of Louisiana. They had intermarried the Spanish immigrants and so the Creole population of the Vieux Carré had largely become a French-Spanish mixture.
In several books it is mentioned that this was a little gossip sheet, published by Buddy Bolden. Nobody ever found a copy of the sheet and so this stays one of the myths in Jazz history.
Bolden’s second wife, Nora, who was traced down in Waterloo, Iowa in 1942 by the indefatigable jazz researcher William Russell, denied both stories (Bolden being a barber and editor of the gossip sheet), and her denials were corroborated by other reliable sources and by the fact that no copy of a newspaper called The Cricket, edited by anyone, has ever been found.